FORT DRUM, N.Y. (March 11, 2022) -- Spc. Edward Cahill and Spc. Joshua Lewis got in an early-morning workout March 11 at Atkins Functional Fitness Facility, and they were about to leave when the facility manager presented them with a challenge.
The BOSS Invades Atkins functional fitness competition was about to start, and only one person had signed up. The two Soldiers, both with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade, couldn’t refuse the offer.
“We just thought, ‘Why not?’ It was definitely a challenge, I will say,” Cahill said.
“I wanted to test my skills against everybody else, and see how we’re improving,” Lewis said. “Really, I just like competing.”
Members of the Fort Drum community have been rising to the challenge since 2013, when members of the Fort Drum Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program teamed with AFFF staff for the first functional fitness event.
Each iteration has offered a full-body workout, incorporating a variety of functional fitness movements. In the past, participants have box jumped, pulled and dragged weighted sleds, powerlifted, squatted, lunged and raced while carrying kettlebells.
Michelle Winter, facility manager, said that she wanted to try something different in this latest challenge. Competitors had to bike, row and slam a heavy medicine ball, but the majority of the course showcased the Alpha Warrior Battle Rig. The giant apparatus offers a high-intensity workout that tests strength, agility and endurance with a series of obstacles to climb, swing and maneuver across without touching the ground.
“It actually tires you out pretty good,” Cahill said. “I thought I wasn’t going to be that gassed afterward, but it did get me a little bit.”
Winter said that a lot of patrons never take the time to familiarize themselves with the Alpha Rig, and tend to shy away from programming it into their workouts. She hoped this functional fitness challenge will encourage more people to try it out.
“I have never tried to do all this before, maybe just the rings, but it was definitely something new,” Cahill said. “I’m glad that I tried it. If there was another challenge like this, I’d probably do it again.”
Staff Sgt. Tony Celestino, with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, recorded the fastest time on the course at 3 minutes and 47 seconds. Spc. Andy Davila, with 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2BCT, was second behind at 3:55.
Celestino arrived at Atkins with a predetermined workout in mind of rope climbs, weight presses and a three-mile run. He said that he had never tested himself on the Alpha Warrior Rig before, but had always wanted to try it.
“I had no idea this was happening today, but it was fun,” Celestino said. “I thought it was a decent workout, pretty challenging and definitely something different.”
Photos from the event are available at www.flickr.com/photos/drum10thmountain/albums/72177720297287343.